The County You Live, Work And Play
Two Attacks A Day In Lanarkshire
Two police officers are attacked every day in Lanarkshire.
A total of 3880 policemen or policewomen were assaulted in the county over a four-year period from 2012 to 2015.
A special investigation revealed a further 450 officers have been attacked from across Lanarkshire from January 1 to June 1 this year.
The data release under the Freedom of Information Act show the officers in Lanarkshire were more likely to be assaulted in the Motherwell South and Ravenscraig ward, which includes Craigneuk and Muirhouse, than another other council ward in the county.
Officers came under attack there no fewer than 489 times over the four-year period.
Last year, officers were attacked 123 times in the ward alone equivalent to more than twice recorded attacks per week.
Over the four-year period there was a total of 90 attacks in Wishaw, 55 in Murdostoun which includes Cleland, Coltness and Newmains and 48 in the Shotts, Allanton and Harthill areas.
Inspector Alistair Anderson, of Wishaw Police Office said: “Any assault on a police officer is completely unacceptable. It should be considered as an attack on civil society itself, and dealt with in the harshest way by the courts.
“Assaults can take the form of a verbal assault, being spat at, a physical assault or assault with a weapon, and can happen during the course of arresting an individual, an individual resisting arrest or as an officer is responding and an individual becomes violent or confrontational.
“The safety and welfare of officers is a priority and they are trained to a high level, issued with personal protective equipment and undergo regular refresher training.”
MSP Clare Adamson said she will write to police chiefs after there were 3880 assaults on officers in Lanarkshire over the past year.
The Motherwell and Wishaw MSP will ask the Chief Superintendent Divisonal Commander Roddy Irvine if they plan to introduce the Police Youth Volunteer Scheme to Motherwell and Wishaw.
The move comes as politicians from the SNP, Labour and Tory have united to slam those behind the alarming attacks on policemen and policewomen across the county.
Ms Adamson said: “I trust Police Scotland are doing everything they can to counter this and I will be writing to the Chief Superintendent to find out if there are any plans to introduce the Police Scotland Youth Volunteer Scheme to Motherwell and Wishaw.
“There is some great work going on such as the recent award-winning community engagement programme running in Craigneuk and Gowkthapple which aims to break down barriers between the police and the communities through the creation of an action group, strengthening partnership working, increasing community confidence and trust and securing funding for activities for local children.
“The uniformed services all provide a vital service in our communities and should be respected. It is extremely distressing that they are being attacked while going about their duties on our behalf”.
Central Scotland Labour MSP Monica Lennon said: “One attack on our brave police officers is too many so these figures revealed by the investigation are extremely concerning.
“Police officers have a tough job, under increasingly challenging circumstances.
“Accounts released in August revealed that Police Scotland cannot invest in services because they aren’t getting the support they need from the SNP Government for basic safety equipment, with one report saying police cars are held together with duct tape and cable ties and another revealing officers have been sent to charity shops for supplies.
“Officers must be given the resources they need to ensure they can protect themselves and the public. No-one should be unsafe in their place of work, least of all the police officers keeping our communities safe. These horrendous attacks must stop now.”
Tory Central Scotland MSP Graham Simpson said he was shocked by the figures.
“They highlight the risks that police officers take every time they step out onto the beat to keep us all safe, we should all be very grateful for the vital work they do and we must make sure that the book is thrown at anyone who assaults an officer.”